Bucharest mayor gives up Oxigen tax and downtown access restrictions. Greenpeace slams the decision

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Bucharest general mayor Gabriela Firea has announced on Tuesday she is giving up the Oxigen tax, as well as the downtown access restrictions following a Fcaebook poll where she asked citizens if they agree with the introduction of the Oxigen vignette.

Firea said the poll gathered around 2.5 million view and about 60,000 comments, with 90% of them against the tax.

Bucharest general mayor announced last summer a new draft resolution that bans non Euro, Euro 1 and Euro 2 (pollution norm 0, 1 and 2) vehicles downtown Bucharest and which was meant to compel drivers who are coming in the Capital from other cities to pay vignette to transit the city, mounting to RON 1,900 annually, or RON 10 per day.

The draft resolution has to get the green light of the Bucharest General Council, while Bucharesters who have already bought the vignette will get their money back.

The decision is to give up the Oxigen vignette. I will submit a cancellation draft resolution, but it doesn’t mean I will give up, I will not abandon the Oxigen project for it comprises more projects, ranging from planting trees, bike paths, streets, bridges or passageways up to the acquisition of less polluting cars or checking the polluting building-yards,” said the mayoress.

Firea revealed that around 1,600 Bucharesters had bought the vignette so far, mounting to EUR 76,000, and they will get their money back.

The mayor argued that the results of the Facebook poll are very clear, showing that the residents of the Capital do not want the tax and the restrictions.
In retort, Greenpeace Romania said that dropping us the Oxigen vignette is “a populist, completely irresponsible action”.
“This decision will cost us all. The right for health and clean air is not negotiable and cannot be voted on Facebook! Over 20,000 people are dying annually in Romania due to pollution, while the Bucharest City Hall, through Gabriela Firea is directly responsible for part of these deaths,” says the NGO.

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